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Separating parts that are stuck

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#1 RoscoeD

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 06:58 PM

I have a T-adapter and a spacer that are stuck together and for the life of me I can't get them apart so I can reassemble my telescope.  I tried putting them in the freezer for a few hours hoping that thermal expansion would be different between them and they'd come apart, but no luck.  I'd rather not buy another spacer...

 

Ideas?



#2 Dynan

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 07:04 PM

1. Strap wrenches

2. Put it on a rubber mat and, with your rubber soled shoe heel, press and twist.

3. Use nose lube next time. :smile:


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#3 RoscoeD

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 07:06 PM

I never intended to have it that tight.  

 

Not sure I understand the rubber mat and the shoe heel...I can't envision what you're describing

 

For the price of a quality strap wrench I can buy a new spacer smile.gif

 

edit: and what is nose lube?


Edited by RoscoeD, 13 April 2024 - 07:07 PM.


#4 DeepSky Di

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 07:15 PM

It's good to have the tools do deal with this as it happens from time to time. I think the issue is when you have an optical train with multiple threaded components, turning the two ends can result in one thread jamming somewhere.

 

Strap wrench

Lens wrench

Lens spanner

Rubber gloves

Shoe method demonstrated by Alaska Astro: https://youtu.be/Pr7...Fy1Pc7gc85tcUBF

 

Prevention is better than cure. I'm trying craft store beeswax on threads after my reducer got stuck to something. 



#5 pothos

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 07:37 PM

The shoe sole trick is fool proof. I slip each hand into a flat rubber soled shoe, like an oven mitt, place the stuck parts between them with the tube ends against the soles, and twist. Presto. Every time.
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#6 sellsea

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 07:41 PM

If both parts are the same material, the thermal expansion will be the same for both parts.  Try differential thermal expansion, where you either heat the outer part, or cool the inner part.  It helps to do this quickly before heat transfers from one part to the other.


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#7 KNak

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 07:59 PM

Trust me, the rubber shoe method is the only way to go.  Do exactly as Dynan said #2 (my variant is Croc on Croc)


Edited by KNak, 13 April 2024 - 08:00 PM.

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#8 BrushPilot

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 08:05 PM

For prevention try using a teflon lube for bike chains and gears. Use sparingly, wipe and let dry.



#9 Bigeye1988

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 08:29 PM

If you try to grip the spacer chances are it is deforming a bit preventing it from turning. Think trying to turn an oval in a circle. The rubber mats, press and turn keeps both part round.

#10 Dynan

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 12:16 AM

Nasal sebum:

 

https://en.wikipedia...iki/Nasal_sebum


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#11 RoscoeD

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 12:41 AM

Couldn't find any shoe soles or rubber matts that had more grip than the threads have on each other.  Funny thing is the spacer doesn't appear to be seated all the way into the T adapter (I can see a small amount of threads through the center of the T adapter) that would cause it to seize.  It really doesn't make any sense.  I just placed the parts spacer end down in a shallow bowl of ice water such that the spacer (the male threaded part) is the only part that (in theory) is getting cold-soaked.  Hopefully it will shrink and the T-adapter won't and it will release... 



#12 arty

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 05:59 AM

I usually use cheap construction gloves that can be bought in any store. Their texturised rubber is far more grippier than flat surfaces and it's designed to be put on your hand, so you can apply maximum of their surface area. I've lost count of how many stuck threads on a delicate objects (including filter threads, bottles, cans) were saved by those. For filters threads it's better to apply force to the rim, so you don't deform the ring, just push your down and rotate.

 

And those gloves are generally nice to have as a bonus.

 

As of why that happend to you - threads on aluminium just hate everything in general. I'm honestly amazed by amount of those annoying connections in telescopes, I have to resort to gloves multiple times since i got into this hobby, and i don't overtighten them...

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Edited by arty, 14 April 2024 - 06:15 AM.

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#13 arty

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 09:03 AM

By the way I have one of those large silicone mats for working with electronics and I recently tried to unstuck threads using a method described by people above and I failed, this kind of silicone is too smooth (by design, by the way, it's glossy so stuff don't get stuck to it). Rubber on gloves is designed to improve grip, and those gloves retain their grip even if they are covered in grease in a workshop environment.

 

As of the temperature tricks, i strongly doubt they will work on thin lightweight aluminium (they probably are) parts.


Edited by arty, 14 April 2024 - 09:03 AM.


#14 Phil Sherman

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 10:17 AM

An ultra thin coating of anti-seize compound on the threads will prevent the spalling that locks these finely threaded aluminum parts together. The downside of doing this is that it easily transfers to anything that touches the (usually) male threads. Keep your filters in thin plastic boxes to avoid this issue.

 

One of my tools to separate threaded parts is a pair of the elastic bands that are used as tourniquets for blood draws. They give a super strong grip on anything that needs to be twisted apart.


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#15 tjay

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 10:35 AM

I have had good luck using rubber bands on each part for grip, or the shoe method.

 

I did once try putting both parts in the freezer for a few minutes, and that worked too.

 

I've got some WD40 Bike Dry Chain lube that use for the z axis on my 3d printer when it gets noisy, so maybe I'll give Bush Pilot's suggestion a try with that.



#16 arty

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 01:32 PM

I'd say expensive optics and grease are not friends, because removing the grease from a multi-coated lens (which will get there eventually) is not fun. 

Some suggest using thin plastic washers between elements, that didn't work well for me though. You can always just buy better gear. I remember Baader having some kind of quick-lock solution, but it's kinda pointless with the amount of threaded elements you need to stack to attach it... Their threaded adapters don't get stuck as easily as cheapo filter adapters though, so maybe buying a higher quality stuff helps too...


Edited by arty, 14 April 2024 - 01:33 PM.


#17 platini

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 09:58 PM

For me the rubber shoes method is the best. No WD40 or any king of chemical. Put the pack between the shoes bottom,  put your hands inside each shoe, push and twist.



#18 RoscoeD

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 10:17 PM

For me the rubber shoes method is the best. No WD40 or any king of chemical. Put the pack between the shoes bottom,  put your hands inside each shoe, push and twist.

As I said earlier, did not work for me. None of my shoes, nor rubber mats, had more grip than the two parts had to one another…



#19 ABQJeff

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 11:06 PM

I use a filter wrench (or a pair, one for each component).


Edited by ABQJeff, 15 April 2024 - 11:17 PM.

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#20 RoscoeD

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 12:32 AM

You must have small filters...but I don't have any that won't scratch the crap out of them.

 

Note:  Nothing I tried (per all your great suggestions) could get them apart.  Grip wasn't the issue...they just weren't turning.  I finally said F*** it and bought a new spacer (I need to get my scope back up and running).  The T adapter I never used so don't really matter, but either way once I get the new spacer I won't care if I trash the old, stuck one.



#21 Travellingbears

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 07:10 AM

I used hair dryer to heat parts from one side/end and then as it cooled it finally would turn. I had scratched up finish with all my shenanigans. Took some 1500 grit and smoothed out. Parts looked ‘acceptable’ again after two coats of black krylon spray paint.
 

My last ‘struggle’ was with 0.5” and 1” draw-tube extenders for my WR30 NiteCrawler. Now I try to remember to coat threads in graphite powder. 
 

Dave


Edited by Travellingbears, 16 April 2024 - 07:13 AM.

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#22 RoscoeD

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 12:22 PM

I would think graphite powder would contaminate your optics…



#23 RogerM

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 12:44 PM

I would think graphite powder would contaminate your optics…

You burnish surfaces with graphite powder...surface finish will have a silver tone to it, you never just 'squirt' powder...thats only for things like locks.

 

BTW, 'nose lube' is a really fine oil.  When I taught fly fishing one of the things that makes the difference when assemblying/dis-assemblying rods was to rub a little nose oil onto the ferrules. 


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#24 NinePlanets

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 08:02 AM

Just a slight touch of parafin (candle wax) on aluminum threads goes a long way toward preventing these troubles.

 

In other words, just take the end of a candle and run it around the threads once before screwing them together. Don't get exuberant. Wipe off any excess.

 

EDIT: Strap wrenches are a good cheap investment for things like this.


Edited by NinePlanets, 17 April 2024 - 08:11 AM.


#25 Scott99

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 11:03 AM

Hair dryer on the larger part is the way to go waytogo.gif   Heat the outer sides as best you can - it can work wonders.

 

I just had to separate a DM6 adapter plate that fused to the bottom of my mount - could not pry it off, could not knock it off with a hammer.  Several minutes of the hair dryer blasting on the adapter surface and it practically fell right off


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